I'm running on empty today. Physically I'm not feeling well; my head aches, my body aches, I'm just exhausted. I think mostly though it is just that in October I seem to get blue sometimes for no real reason at all. Historically it is filled with difficult and painful memories and some days that get the better of me. That doesn't mean that I don't have faith, it doesn't mean that I don't trust God. If anything it just reminds me of how faithful He is and what a loving God He is. Because no matter how I 'feel', no matter how things look, He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
I am not a scientific or a mechanical type of person. I go to turn my bedroom light on and I trust that if I paid my bill, that if a storm has not knocked out the power or a pole has not been hit by a car that the lights will come on when I hit that switch. Now my husband could tell me exactly why it works, what happens with that electrical current (I remember that part) and how it all comes together. And I would forget it by tomorrow. Don't even get me started on computers and the internet, or 'the cloud'. Some things are above my pay grade. The thing is I don't have to know how things work to get the benefits from them. I don't have to have the schematics of a car's electrical system to get in, turn the key and roar off down the road. My knowledge of these things is experiential. Just as much of my knowledge of God is experiential.
There are those who are great apologists, those who can explain the bible and the truth of it. I think of Josh McDowell and of J. Warner Wallace and I am amazed by their knowledge and their ability to share that with us. My mind is simpler than that. If the stove is hot and I touch it, hey don't do that again. If I pick a rose and it smells beautiful, that I will do again. Yes, we should study the bible to learn the truths of God; so that we can know these truths for ourselves and so that we can share that knowledge with others. But as the old saying goes, there are some things we just 'know in our knower'. The greatest things I know about God are because of the experiences I have had with Him.
When my marriage fell apart (in an October) I learned that God is a forgiving God. He forgave me for turning my back on Him and for essentially spitting on the face of my Saviour as I walked away from Him. I exchanged the joy of my salvation for a cheap imitation. I traded a precious jewel for a broken piece of glass. But even after all of that, the moment I cried out to Him I was in His presence again. He was like that father of the prodigal son, just waiting for me to turn back to Him. He welcomed me back with open arms, with a love that overwhelmed me and with a joy unspeakable and full of glory. And during that time He taught me what real love is. He taught me how to forgive, how to show mercy. He gave me the gift of faith, to believe, to 'know in my knower' that our marriage would be restored, even to the day that it would happen. And that, dear friends is better than having the map of the electrical grid, better than knowing if the power is a/c or d/c, better than knowing what gauge wire was used. I knew that the creator of the universe and all that is in it is loving, forgiving, faithful, merciful because I experienced it firsthand.
I also learned in an October that God gives us strength to get through the seemingly impossible. In 2000 my dad was becoming sicker and sicker. I drove to Lake Havasu and took my mom and dad to Kingman to have tests done. They said he has stomach cancer and had 6 months to live. He ended up dying three weeks to the day after those tests. During that time our family life was in turmoil. One of our children had run away from home. We didn't know where he was and lived in fear for him. My step daughter and her baby had just moved in with us; we were basically strangers. We knew God had ordained that, so that there could be reconciliation and restoration, but with everything else happening there was great stress. I ended up staying with my mom and dad for those three weeks as he was dying. Every day he grew weaker. By the second week he didn't get out of bed and hospice came in to show us how to care for him. My mom was exhausted. It was devastating watching my strong father shrink down to almost nothing. Six feet tall and when he died he was 85 pounds. And worse was not knowing for sure if he had come to salvation, as he was a very private person and didn't share that kind of thing. I felt as though I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. Being with my dad dying, watching my mom grow wearier by the day. Not being able to be with my husband, knowing my son was missing, not being able to be part of my step daughter's life, knowing my other children were suffering. But through it all God gave me a strength, a grace to do what had to be done. I've shared before about when my dad died, and how God told me to run out to the truck and get the cd from the stereo and play it for my dad. He told me what track to play, saying your dad will hear this in heaven soon. As I put that cd on, the first notes played, 'Hallalujah' and my dad's arms went straight up to his Father, and he went home. And oh, yes, God has a sense of humor. My dad passed into glory on October 31st, the day most of the world celebrates ungodly things, my father celebrated with his Lord in heaven. My dad used to take me trick or treating when I was very young. The neighborhood we lived in was very close knit. My dad would knock on the neighbor's doors and say 'trick or bourbon'. Well, that Halloween he knocked on heaven's door and there was no trick, nothing but a welcoming Father.
Are you running on empty today? Maybe physically, maybe emotionally, spiritually? Turn to the One who knows you best. The One who loves you best. I cannot stress enough how much He loves you. How it grieves Him when He sees you trying to go through things alone. How His heart breaks when you don't trust Him with everything. From your car not running, to that bill that needs to be paid, to your marriage that is failing. He cares about it all...He cares about you. Go to Him with all of it. In your pain, in your frustration, yes, even in your anger. He is big enough, He is strong enough to handle all of that. Nothing you can say will surprise Him. After all, He knows your thoughts before they pass over your lips. He knows the deepest things in your heart. He knows all of that, and He loves you beyond your comprehension. His shoulders are broad, His heart is broader. He can deal with all that you give to Him and more, but that is just it, you have to give it to Him. Give Him your cares today, give Him what distresses you. Give Him all of it and see what He does. Exchange your sorrows for His gladness. Give Him your anxiety and receive His peace. Give Him your doubt and take His hope. Give Him your empty tank and watch Him fill it. And He'll not only fill it, He'll use the good stuff; kind of like when I fill my Fairlane with race gas...